Branding with the Archetypes 

Properly marketing a business requires a command of the unconscious messages you are sending about your brand. An understanding of the archetypes can help to ensure that you have an alignment between the messages that you put forward and what you may be conveying unintentionally. A mismatch can trigger cognitive dissonance, a situation where someone knows at some level that something is off, but they don’t what it is. When cognitive dissonance is invoked, a customer may become skittish or hesitant or they may take their business elsewhere.

What are archetypes?

Carl Jung and his followers established a deep tradition of archetypal exploration. The archetypes represent energies, often unconscious, that exert influence in our lives. We know them by their names: Warrior, Magician, Caregiver.

All stories feature archetypes and the universal appeal of story is that its forms are rooted in the unconscious. This means that we have an intuitive understanding of archetypes and stories. We are comforted by the repetitious appearance of familiar characters like the Villain and the Hero because it taps into universal expectations we have about the nature of story itself. And we become more deeply engaged as the characters are differentiated, emerging as not just a villain or hero but a specific kind: the jilted lover, the spoiled child, the megalomaniac, or the prostitute with the heart of gold, the disgraced hero, the boy next door.

 

Archetypes and Branding

To understand the power of archetypes in branding, it helps to remember where the idea of branding comes from in the first place. Getting to the origins of things and understanding their deeper meaning is part of an archetypal approach.

Brands were markings that craftsmen placed on the products they created. They were literally an imprint pressed into a metallic surface (or in the case of livestock, a brand is burned into animal hide to denote ownership). In a very real sense, it can be thought of as ‘making your mark.’

Today brands encompass everything from your business name, logo, colors, marketing messages, and the tone of your communications. In marketing, people speak of being ‘on brand’ to describe whether a particular element is consistent with the overall brand concept. Consistency is key as a lack of it will cause confusion or cognitive dissonance in customers.

Successful marketers often embrace archetypal thinking intuitively in the execution of their brand. Those who excel at marketing create iconic brands that are recognizable by the subtlest of details and appeal to their customers at a visceral level.

For example, Apple embraces the Rebel with its logo (boldly taking a bit out of the apple of wisdom), its motto “Think different,” and its color (predominantly white which differentiates it from the black of its competitors). You can instantly recognize an Apple product by its appearance because its brand concept is so thoroughly interwoven into its design.

Brands that are inconsistent, or that align themselves with an inappropriate archetypal metaphor, can fail. Take, for example, the VW Phaeton. Never heard of it? Well, that’s because only 25,000 were sold in its first four model years (a quarter of planned production). Phaeton was an unfortunate name.

The original Phaeton was the son of Helios, the god of the sun. Tragedy befell Phaeton when he asked to drive the sun chariot for a day and lost control of the horses. Not a good story to build a brand around.

No one knows the story of the god Phaeton, you might argue. But it doesn’t matter. Archetypes reside in the collective unconscious. When you invoke an archetype you are tapping into its energies which operate regardless of your conscious understanding of the dynamics.

Brand marketing becomes even more complex for entrepreneurs because often their product or service is synonymous with the individual. Think Oprah: she is one in the same with her brand. Since the entrepreneur is the face of her brand, she must take care that the brand is reflective of her personality.

Branding With the Archetypes is designed to ensure that your branding resonates with customers at an unconscious level. In this process, I’ll take an in depth look at you and your brand. I’ll understand your offerings, who you serve, and where you want to take your business. Then we’ll take a look at who you are. What archetypal energies are dominant in your life? What is your brand currently (if you’ve created one)? What archetypal energies are dominant in your brand? We will do a detailed archetypal assessment of both you and your brand. Then we will identify action steps for you to take to create a more integrated alignment of your brand.

 

What you’ll get:

A complete picture of your personal archetypal constellation (the twelve archetypes dominant in your life) as well as the archetypal constellation for your brand.

As assessment of how your brand lines up with your personal and business archetypes.

Concrete advice on how to create better alignment.

Coaching to overcome the obstacles that are holding you back in your business.

Here’s how it breaks down:

Sessions 1 + 2 Setting the Foundation All about your business. What are your offerings? Who do you serve?
Sessions 3+4 Self Awareness Who are you? What archetypal energies are dominant in your life?
Sessions 5+6 Brand Awareness What is your brand? What archetypal energies are dominant in your brand?
Session 7 Mission Statement and Vision Where do you want your business to go? What are your aspirations?
Session 8+9 Inspired Action What are you going to do to get there? Where are you getting stuck?
Session 10 Resources How can each archetype support you along the path?
Session 11 Internal Energy What do you need to do to nurture each archetype?
Session 12 Integration Bringing it all together.

Working Together

This kind of depth work requires an investment of time; we are plumbing the unconscious here. We’ll work together over a period of four months. We’ll meet via phone or Skype for one-hour coaching sessions, three each month. In between sessions, you have email support so that you always feel encouraged and never lose momentum along the way. In our sessions, I’ll provide as much structure as you need but I’ll tailor the experience as we go so that it will always responsive to your needs. You’ll complete exercises and sometimes there will be homework so that you can deepen the learning and create the change you want to see in your life.

How does one become an expert in archetypes?

I have a B.A. in Psychology from Carleton College and have studied Jungian Psychology informally for twenty years. I am a Certified Archetypal Pattern Analyst from the Assisi Institute. I completed a PhD from Saybrook University where my dissertation focused on the stories that we tell ourselves. My doctoral work delved into studies of consciousness and archetype.

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